A lot has changed since the start of 2022 in the real estate market.  We have shifted from a seller's market to now a buyer's market (take a read at my last blog article for the latest market update).  I highly encourage you to build a strong relationship with your lender and have all of your necessary loan documents to your lender, financing questions figured out, understand your buying power, and did I say get all questions out of the way. 
My biggest advice is continue asking questions, running payment scenarios (see below), and really use your lender and Agent to guide you through the tricky steps of buying.  Everyone's situation is so unique and personal and I hope to be there as your guide to decide if buying is the right choice for you and your family.  Where are interest rates on a weekly (or daily) basis, lower inventory is always a battle, and how to grab at a motivated seller.   

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Here are some questions I wanted to put in front of you so I can strategize with you and your lender how to leverage your buying situation: 
1. What does the scenario look like when the seller covers closing costs? (Scenario 1)
2. What does the scenario look like when the seller buys down my interest rate?  (Scenario 2)
3. What does the scenario look like when I offer above 20%? (Scenario 3)
4. Can you run payment scenarios buying down the interest rate by 1 point, 2 points, etc?
5. Does it even make financial sense to buy down points at all if you will not be in the home longer than 5 years? (Scenario 4, 5 or so forth) 
6. Are there ways I can make my credit score higher to receive a more competitive interest rate? 
7. Does it make sense to put a lower downpayment down to have more cash available for future needs?
8. Does it make sense to buy now or wait until next year? 
I would love to be a part of the conversation to help you with the buying process. Understanding your buying situation today will only help to empower a buying process later (when you are ready) to feel solid about investing in your future. 
Baseline questions to ask your lender:
- What does it mean to be pre-qualified?
- How long does your pre-qual last for? 
- Debt to income; does it make sense for you to pay off any of your debt (i.e. student loans) to increase your buying power? 
- How much can you put down? 10%, 15%, 20% of the purchase price
- What are their interest rates?
- What is their origination fee? 
- Do you have an idea of your closing costs? 
- Are you looking for a primary home loan, second home loan or investment property loan? 
- What loan programs do you qualify for? Conventional, FHA, RD, VA, etc. 
- Run payment scenarios a couple of different ways, a couple of different downpayment options, run them at a 30 year loan (or a 15 year loan but this would be a more aggressive payment schedule) 
- What bracket cut off makes sense i.e. what is the best interest rate you can get at what % downpayment amount? 
- What could be a rough estimate of closing costs? (Note, this would have to be run on a specific property of interest)
- Can an appraisal be waived (Note, this would have to be run on a specific property of interest)
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Below are my favorite local lenders in town. They have provided my clients an incredible service and myself personally. If you are wondering where to start, how to approach the conversation, simply give me a call or call or email any of the lenders below. 

(406) 556-4125
Phone: (406) -579-1170  
Cornerstone Home Lending 
Phone: (406) 551-4016

In today's real estate market, if you are interested in purchasing a home, land, or selling, you need to make sure you are connected with a Top Agent to help you navigate the buying process. Contact Realtor, Marisa Owen, at (925) 785-2596. I would be happy to walk you through how to purchase a home and all of the moving parts. 


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